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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: November 22, 2017 12:19 PM
From: Senator Lisa M. Boscola
To: All Senate members
Subject: Mandatory Reporting of Infants Born with Addiction
I plan to introduce legislation that would require the reporting of any infant born with an addiction to opioids or other illegal substances within the Commonwealth. It recently came to my attention that in the midst of the opioid epidemic affecting both Pennsylvania and the country, our state does not mandate real-time reporting of infants born with an opioid addiction and high susceptibility of withdrawal conditions.

The youngest and most innocent victims of this crisis are already born without a voice and without any say to their addiction and subsequent withdrawal. As responsible stewards to the general public, lawmakers and the state government have to know these numbers as they are occurring. Presently, we do not have enough insight to know if infants born with addiction are on the rise, holding steady, or even declining because we do not mandate the reporting requirement.

My goal is to work the Department of Health in addressing this problem, while also ensuring confidentiality to patients and infants during this time. Hospitals remain one of the safest places of sanctuary for individuals, and an expecting mother already facing an addiction to an illegal substance is at high enough risk for complications that could result in loss of life.

I hope you too share my concern with the lack of this reporting and subsequent effect on not having the most updated data. Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation to ensure that Pennsylvania joins a list of other states already requiring this reporting, including Tennessee, where real-time data has spurred policy that appears to be having a positive impact on decreasing the number addiction born children.

Please contact my office at 717-787-4236 with any questions.

Introduced as SB1026